The Big Break (Paperback)
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A full-color graphic novel about growing up, growing apart, and monster hunting, perfect for fans of Real Friends and All's Faire in Middle School.
Andrew and Russ are best friends obsessed with finding the legendary Jersey Devil that supposedly lives in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, right in their own backyards. They're even making a movie about their desperate search for any sign of the mythical creature. But when Russ starts spending less time on their movie, and more time with artsy, first-chair violinist Tara, Andrew feels the cracks in their friendship begin to form.
Suddenly, all of Andrew's favorite things are too babyish for Russ, and Andrew is left trying to figure out where he belongs without his best friend by his side. Then a rash of Jersey Devil sightings excite their small town, and the boys are thrown back together on a fevered hunt. Can Andrew and Russ put aside their differences for one last chance to find the monster of their dreams, or will the break in their friendship be too big to mend?
About the Author
Mark Tatulli is the creator of the syndicated comic strip Lio, the graphic novel memoir Short & Skinny, and he has worked as an animator and television producer, for which he has won three Emmy awards. He has also written the Desmond Pucket series of middle grade novels. He lives in Washington Township, New Jersey.
Praise for Short & Skinny:
"Tatulli compellingly depicts how an object of culture can galvanize genuine emotions. A natural choice for fans of Raina Telgemeier or Jeffrey Brown's Jedi Academy series."
"Tatulli's story shares a positive message about dedication and overcoming obstacles through imagination and creativity. A story with easy appeal for fans of coming-of-age adventures and Star Wars."—Kirkus Reviews
"Set in the 1970s, this account of comic strip artist Tatulli's awkward youth will resonate with readers.... The clean, straightforward drawings and smooth flow of the panels make this a strong choice."—School Library Journal
"We get to see the struggles of a typical middle school student and how he works for his achievements and success despite the odds...[it] would appeal to fans of Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid."—School Library Connection
"Mark's winning resilience contributes to making his embarrassing misadventures goofy yet relatable. The dynamic, cartoonish panels...show authentic emotions."—Publishers Weekly